Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Washing rubbish

Our water supply is unmetered and I’ve recently been looking at the savings we might expect by applying for a meter. Not enormous seems to be the answer.

However, it occurred to me to consider the way we rinse out the empty cans, cartons, jars and bottles before dropping them in the recycling bin. Fine when we’re not paying for the water, but if we go on a meter do we stop washing the recycling? Or rubbish as we used to call it.

It’s not the money of course because a few litres of water doesn’t cost much, but I did wonder how much water is used to clean up all our recycling.

For example, some jars are a pain to rinse out and a fair amount of water is required for each one. I’ve just rinsed out a plastic humous pot which was oily and required more than a quick swill.

I’m not sure there is any point anyway because the water is probably worth more than the cans, cartons, jars and bottles. Well possibly not the cans, but I suspect the cartons, jars and bottles are worthless.

Of course it’s done to stop the bin smelling, but think of all that wasted water. Drinking water at that. 

Should we recycle it?


Sam Vega said...

If you kept a pig, you could rinse out the containers and collect the water as swill.

In addition to the cost of the water, it must cost a lot to have the recyclables collected each week in an expensive lorry crewed by council staff, and then sorted at the tip.

I think the only ecologically sound way to eat hummous is to have the deli-counter staff to dollop it directly into your hand, and for you to eat it while you stand there.

A K Haart said...

Sam - not so sure about the pig, because that too has to be recycled eventually.

The deli-counter idea is sound though. They could also give us a clean plastic pot to take home and recycle so we don't show up on the Recycle Default Register.

Anonymous said...

Had a water meter compulsorily fitted, bill has gone down but I thought it was a daft policy to fit meters to every property and as a targeted approach would attract the lawyers I felt that 'do nothing' would have been wiser. Looks a makework to me.

I don't wash tins etc, I am sure the blast furnace does not mind a few mouldy peas or caviar scrapings. Mrs R puts in lots of tiddly scraps of aluminium foil and I am sceptical as to whether they amount to much at all. As for the plastic, well it really is hard to tell the difference between PET and polythene.

I thought bins always smelled, the factory made them that way to discourage people from parking them by the back door.

Angus Dei said...

Had one fitted last year AK, bill went down from £30 a month to £14 a month.
I found the best way to save water on the recycling thing is wait until the old bladder is full and take tins etc into the loo and either piss in them to rinse them out or put them under the flush:)

A K Haart said...

Roger - there is a bin-washing service which follows the collection truck, so presumably many do as you do and have the bin-stink washed out.

Angus - but what if you piss more than a tinful? Drill a hole in the tin first?